b. January 28, 1929
Stockholm, Swedem
Claes Oldenburg Currently living and creating in NY, NY
This page is dedicated to the artist, and to the all people and institutions who have helped bring his art to the public.

Who is this guy, anyway?

He is an artist. Check out some of the web sites or books listed below. The 1961 manifesto I am for an art . . . says a lot. Many of those themes are readily visible throughout his 40+ years of artmaking.

What kind of Art does he do?

"Pop Art" is the simple answer, but that hardly covers it. Rose has a very good discussion of where he was at in 1969. Much of his work concerns how to look at everyday objects in a new way - as objects, things, shapes, or having previously unrecognized meaning or beauty.

Where can I see more wonderful works of art by Claes Oldenburg?

If there are any current exhibits I know about they are listed below . He is represented by Pace Wildenstein site.
Many of his large sculptures, known as Monuments or Colossal Monuments, can be seen in prominent public places. I've listed most (all?) of them below. The most recent book (1994) is good, but don't overlook the earlier one (1980).
"Monuments became a significant subject for me in the spring of 1965. ... The new studio was huge - a block long - and that scale, combined with my recollections of traveling, had given me an inclination to a landscape representation. I couldn't adjust to this until I hit on the idea of placing my favorite objects in a landscape - a combination of still-life and landscape scales."
Claes Oldenburg, 1968

I've marked the ones I've seen with a .

Acording to Rose the first of his public monuments to actually be executed was a 6 x 3 foot hole dug in Central Park behind the Metropolitan Museum of Art. I don't know if this is still in existence.

Pop Tart : Museum of Contemporary Art (old building), Chicago, IL (Nov 17, 1967)
replaced by;
. Frayed Wire (year???)

Lipstick (Ascending) on Caterpillar Tracks : New Haven, CT (1969) (reconstructed 1974)
his first colossal monument?
Commissioned by Yale art students, inspired by Herbert Marcuse.

Giant 3-Way Plug : Oberlin, OH (1970) (resited 1976)

Giant Trowel : Krller-Mller Museum in Otterlo, The Netherland (1971)
(Reconstructed 1976)
(1st Collaboration w/Cossje Van Bruggen )

Giant 3-way Plug: St. Louis Art Museum, St.Louis, MO (December 1971)

Standing Mitt with Ball : (private residence) Greenwich, CT (1973)

Geometric Mouse (Scale X) : Public Library, Houston, TX (1974)

Colossal Ashtray : ? (1975)

Soft Inverted Q : Akron Art Museum, Akron, OH (1976)

Inverted Q : Mönchengladbach, Germany (1976)

Clothespin : Philadelphia, PA (1976)
North side of Market at 15th, across 15th from the West side of City Hall.

Batcolumn : Harold Washington Social Security Center, Chicago, IL (April 14, 1977)

Pool Balls : Müenster, West Germany (inst. June 6, 1977)

Crusoe Umbrella : Civic Center, Des Moines, IA (Nov. 27, 1979))

Flashlight : UNV, Las Vegas, NV (inst. Sept 1980, Inaug. March 12, 1981)

Split Button : U Penn, Philadelphia, PA (Inst. June 25,1981; Inaug. Nov. 6, 1981)

Hat in 3 Stages of landing : Sherwood Park, Salinas, CA (Inaug. March 26,1982)

Spitzhacke (Pickaxe) : Kassel, Germany (May 1982)

Gartenschlauch (Garden Hose) : Stühlinger Park, Freiburg im Breisgau, Germany

Screwarch : Museum Boymans-van Beuningen, Rotterdam, Sweden (1983)

Cross Section of a Toothbrush with Paster, in a Cup, on a Sink: Portrait of Coosje's Thinking : Museum Haus Esters Krefeld, Germany (1983)

Stake Hitch : Dallas Museum of Art, Dallas, TX (1984)

Balancing Tools : Weil am Rhein, Germany (1984)

Tube Supported by Its Contents : Düsseldorf, Germany (1985)

Knife Ship 1 : Venice, Italy (1985)
The centerpiece of a performance called "Corso del Coltello (The Course of the Knife) ".

Toppling Ladder with Spilling Paint : Loyola Law School, LA, CA (1986)

Spoonbrige and Cherry : Walker Art Center, Minneapolis, MN (1988)

Dropped Bowl with Scattered Slices and Peels : Metro-Dade Open Space Park, Miami, Florida (1990)

Bicyclette Ensevlie (Buried Bicycle ) : Parc de La Villette, Paris, France(1990)

Monument to the Last Horse : Marfa, TX (Inst. June 1, 1991)

at the Chinati Foundation

Binoculars, Chiat/Day Building : 340 Main St., Venice, CA (1991)

Free stamp : Willard Park, Cleveland, OH (Inaug. Nov. 15,1991)

Apple Core : Israel Museum of Art, Jerusalaem Israel (1992)

Mistos (Match Cover) La Vall d'Hebron, Barcelona, Spain (1992)

Bottle of Notes : Central Gardens, Middlesbrough, England (1993)
Inspired by former resident Captain Cook.

Inverted Collar and Tie : Frankfurt, Germany (1994)

Shuttlecocks : Nelson Atkins Museum, Kansas City, MO (1994)

Rob is also in the midst of writing his new string octet City Piece: Shuttlecocks, based on Claes Oldenburg and Coosje van Bruggen's landscape-sculpture at the Nelson Art Gallery in Kansas City, KS. Since Kansas City harbors two states, Rob is adapting the state songs of Kansas ("Home on the Range") and Missouri ("Missouri Waltz") into a double string quartet to be premiered in April 1996. More details to come.

Giant soft shuttlecock Guggenheim Museum, NY, NY (1995) --

Torn Notebook Lincoln, NE (1996),
This site also includes interesting information on the creation process,
and pictures of the Clothespin, Spoonbridge, and 3-Way Plug.
Another view. and another

The ArtNetWeb has pictures of the Giant Soft Shuttlecock, Lipstick, and Knife Ship 1.

Houseball : Berlin, Germany (?)

Have I missed any?

Several Proposed Colossal Monuments, such as the Railroad Station in the Form of a Wristwatch, for Florence, Italy , have not yet been built, and probably never will ...

Books, etc

See the updated Bibliography.

(soft) city
by Jay Russell (1996)
(Written to be performed at Claes Oldenburg: An Anthology, Hayward Gallery, London, 17 July, 1996)

City Piece: Shuttlecocks
by Rob Kapilow, an octect based on Claes Oldenburg and Coosje van Bruggen's landscape-sculpture at the Nelson Art Gallery in Kansas City, KS.

Claes Oldenburg - Reference Page (artincontext)
Claes Oldenburg: An Anthology, Bio (artnetweb.com)
WWW Pop Art: bio (muni.cz)
Anthology (awa.com)
books for sale.
more books for sale, from Gemini Books.

Pictures of other works

Galerie Biedermann: Claes Oldenburg
Claes Oldenburg (artcity.com) -Eclair
in Japan: Art Watch - Aug. 6, 1996
Claes Oldenburg - Picasso's cufflinks
Soft Drum (Pamela Naspinsky
(Soft) City
Torn Notebook , Lincoln, NE

Recent exhibits

Claes Oldenburg: Printed Stuff

This exhibition examines 135 Oldenburg works created between 1959 and 1995 and reveals the strong connections that exist among the artist's printed works, drawings and sculpture. In addition to important prints, the exhibition includes posters, three-dimensional multiples with print elements and related unique drawings and sculpture. Catalog available, admission extra. Organized by the Madison Art Center.

Madison Art Center. (April 27 - July 27, 1997)
Detroit Institute of the Arts , April 18-June 14, 1998.
Columbus Museum of Art January through March, 1998.